Bryson DeChambeau reveals he has 'wrecked hands' preparing for long drive contest before Ryder Cup

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·5 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Bryson DeChambeau reveals he has 'wrecked hands' preparing for long drive contest before Ryder Cup - AP
Bryson DeChambeau reveals he has 'wrecked hands' preparing for long drive contest before Ryder Cup - AP

Between them, Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka seem intent on making Steve Stricker’s US captaincy difficult. A week before the Ryder Cup takes place, DeChambeau has revealed that he has “wrecked his hand” preparing for a long-drive contest while Koepka has called the biennial dust-up “a bit hectic, a bit odd” and expressed his frustration that he “can’t take naps”.

At least they are not arguing amongst themselves, although when Stricker reads their comments, he might wonder where the Ryder Cup rests among their priorities. First up was DeChambeau, who seems as concerned with getting ready for the Professional Long Drive World Championships in Nevada, which takes place the week after the Ryder Cup.

The 27-year-old admits the exhaustive training schedule has affected his body. "My hands are wrecked from it,” he told Golf.com "People don't realise how difficult long drive really is. In golf, it’s the one thing where you can judge your accomplishments by a number.

"Not necessarily by going out and playing golf, because you can catch a sprinkler head or catch a bad break or bad wind. On Flightscope, you can see the ball speed number. And when you obtain a ball speed number, it’s so different and unique. It’s like a shot-putter shot-putting a new record number. You’re trying to find that full potential to break through."

When asked about striking a balance with his Ryder Cup build-up, he replied: "I do it [high-speed training] every week Is it daunting? Hell yeah. At first, when I was trying to do it last year, it was very scary.

"But now that I’ve been through it and experienced the worst pains from it, I know how to kind of balance it – for the most part. Why not go hard at life and do both?"

US players Bryson Dechambeau, left, Webb Simpson, center, and Tiger Woods attend the press conference - AP
US players Bryson Dechambeau, left, Webb Simpson, center, and Tiger Woods attend the press conference - AP

Stricker might have a thing or two to say about that, particularly as DeChambeau was so poor on his debut in Paris three years ago, when he lost all three of his matches. Koepkas has fared rather better in his two appearances, winning four-and-a-half points out of a possible eight. However, there was the incident when he and Dustin Johnson had to be separated in the after-match party in the European teamroom in 2018 and his interview in Golf Digest hardly screams of a Ryder Cup addict.

“It’s different. It’s hectic. It’s a bit odd, if I’m honest,” Koepka said. “I don’t want to say it’s a bad week. We’re just so individualised, and everybody has their routine and a different way of doing things, and now, it’s like, OK, we have to have a meeting at this time or go do this or go do that. It’s the opposite of what happens during a major week. If I break down a major week, it’s so chill.

“It’s tough. There are times where I’m like, I won my match. I did my job. What do you want from me? I know how to take responsibility for the shots I hit every week. Now, somebody else hit a bad shot and left me in a bad spot, and I know this hole is a loss.

“You go from an individual sport all the time to a team sport one week a year. It’s so far from my normal routine. I can barely see my [personal] team. It’s hard to even go to the gym. At the Presidents Cup in New York, we had to go to the gym at 5am to get it in. Under regular conditions, I take naps a lot. I might take an hour, hour-and-a-half nap, or just chill on the couch, before rounds, after rounds, whatever. There’s no time to do that at the Ryder Cup. There’s no time to decompress.”

Brooks Koepka of the USA lines up his shot on the fifth hole during the third round of the 2021 TOUR Championship golf tournament - Shutterstock
Brooks Koepka of the USA lines up his shot on the fifth hole during the third round of the 2021 TOUR Championship golf tournament - Shutterstock

Koepka also questioned why caddies were not allowed in the US teamroom in Paris, which might be another issue Stricker might have to address. Koepka should be commended for his honesty, but imagine if Dechambeau had said the same? And imagine how DeChambeau would be pilloried if he predicted that he would pass not just Tiger Woods’s record of 15 in the major charts, but Jack Nicklaus’s 18 as well?

“In my mind, I’m going to catch him [Woods] on majors,” Koepka, the four-time major winner, said. “I believe that. I don’t see any reason that can stop me. I’m 31. I have another 14 years left. If I win one a year, I got Jack. People misconstrue that as being cocky. No, that’s just my belief. If I don’t have that belief, I shouldn’t be out there. If you don’t think you can win, why the hell are you teeing it up? Yeah, I’m just going for second place this week. There’s a lot of that on tour. Even elite players are very happy with that. Second? Sports are made to have a winner and a loser. You’re one or the other.”